Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Wonder - Did My Ancestors Feel This Much Frustration Before They Voted?

As the election draws nearer, the fierce fight for the White House is heating up to a point of unbearable heat. Both sides are attacking eachother and the media is overanalyzing every single word that is said. Honestly - with our world in the condition it is in, can we really afford this sort of chaos right before the election?

While I am honored that I am able to vote for the first time ever in a presidential election - especially one as historic as this one - I can't help but get a huge headache every time I think about it.

Gosh - is there anyway I can elect someone who isn't a politician? Because both sides seem to have a flip-flopper and in an age where information is so easily spread, the media is going insane. Everything is dissected, words are switched around or taken out of context, and even some of the voters are saying horrific things! It's enough to make my head want to explose

In the wake of all of this, I can't help but wonder if my ancestors felt such pressure when they voted too. I wonder if they knew how important of an impact thier vote would make.

Like - look at our history...Can you imagine voting right before the Civil War? Or how about right before World War II as Nazi Germany was beginning to take hold.

Our votes and America's stance in the world does matter...by punching a hole next to the name of the candidate we want - we are making a huge decision that will affect not only our country, but the entire world.

I can't help but wonder if my ancestors felt the same way.

I also wonder if their moms made as much of a big deal about my first time voting as mine is...
She's bringing a camera and we are going first thing in the morning so that she can be with me on voting day before she has to go to work. I can't really complain, because I know I will be so excited to show my grandkids those pictures one day, and tell them about how I voted in the first election that brough either a black man or a woman VP to the White House.

Note: I understand that this is not a political blog, and I really tried to tie the topic into genealogy. I hope that I didn't offend anyone by what I said - but I do stand by my words. Sometimes, you just have to speak your mind.


Lori Thornton said...

Enjoyed your post. One of my most prized finds is a copy of a letter written by my grandfather's sister to her grandmother back in Illinois shortly after they moved to Mississippi in late 1896. The elections had just been held, and she was quite happy to report to her grandmother that the county had voted Republican in that election. I think from her comments that she thought that the move from a former Union state to a former Confederate one would be okay because the county they lived in had voted the way that most of the North voted. Of course, I also had to laugh knowing that it was likely that many of my other Southern ancestors had voted the other way.

wendy said...

Elyse - always enjoy your posts & I think this election is history in the making - for our future generations so it does fit in with genealogy! Let's just hope no one is "punching" ballots anymore. I've lived through one "hanging chad" nightmare! Don't need another one!

Kevin Lett said...

Elections were much different going back in time. Lots of votes were cast in pubs or at the work place. Imagine trying to vote for the party that your boss was against, with him standing there watching you! I am sure the amount of fraud was high...I mean, how easy would it be to just loose some of those paper ballots for the guy you did not like?

There is always pressure and scandal during an election, now or then. However, talking "smack" is kind of a newer thing. Years ago, people were concerned with honor and did not take name-calling lightly. Do a Google search on Spencer Darwin Pettis. Spencer was a relative of mine and member of the US House of Representative who died in a duel over politics in 1831. They fought to the death over name-calling. I doubt Obama or McCain would stand behind their honor to that extent!